Pros:Good, entertaining story. Cast. Ties in to other recent Marvel movies.
Cons:Perhaps slightly cheesy in a few spots.
The Bottom Line: Captain America: The First Avenger is a very well done, entertaining movie that connects to several other Marvel movies.
In the last several years, Marvel has started their own studio and they have been making movies that are connected to each other, much like the comic books. The movies made by Marvel Studios are leading up to The Avengers. Captain America: The First Avenger is the final movie being made before The Avengers comes out in 2012.
I am only going to briefly discuss the plot of Captain America: The First Avenger. I'm only mentioning things made clear from the trailers. People who prefer not to know anything about the plot before seeing the movie should skip the next paragraph.
**Minor Plot Discussion**
During World War II, Steve Rogers tries five times to join the army. He is turned down every time because he is really small and has some health problems. When he tries again, Dr. Abraham Erskine notices Steve and his determination to serve. Dr. Erskine gives Steve a chance and ultimately picks him for a special super solider program. A procedure transforms Steve and ends up going after Johann Schmidt, the head of HYDRA, a Nazi research division.
**End of Minor Plot Discussion**
It is well worth waiting through the credits. There is a bit more than just the short extra scene that the Marvel movies have had. The Marvel fans should be very happy.
Captain America: The First Avenger is a little different from the other Marvel movies because it is mostly set during World War II. The other Marvel movies have been set in modern times. That does give a little different feel to the movie, but it works very well. I don't know as much about the comic version of the character. From the little I know about the character, he did fight during World War II in the comics. The movie does a good job telling the origin story of Captain America and setting up how he will be part of The Avengers.
Time is taken to introduce Steve at the beginning of Captain America: The First Avenger before he goes though the procedure that makes him stronger. That time helps to develop the character better and make him stronger overall. Things progress at a decent pace without feeling rushed. There is a decent amount of action in the movie that includes fights, shootings, and explosions. The violence isn't too extreme for the most part, though there are one or two moments that are more violent and even a bit disturbing. The movie is rated PG-13 for a reason. Even though it is about a superhero, the movie isn't for young children. Humor turns up every so often, usually through things that a character says or how they react to something. A few of the things done for humor are slightly cheesy, but they work overall.
Special effects are used throughout Captain America: The First Avenger. Many of them are used in different fight scenes. I think some kind of CGI is used for how Steve looks before the procedure. Not only is he thinner without any muscles, but he is also shorter at that point. Effects are also used for Schmidt in certain scenes. The special effects are well done without being overly obvious. The movie is showing in 3D in some theaters. I saw the normal 2D version, though I did notice a few sequences that would take advantage of the 3D.
Steve goes on a double date with his friend Bucky at one point early in Captain America: The First Avenger. Both the women seem more interested in Bucky than in Steve, who is still a bit of a weakling at that point. Steve even admits at one point that he doesn't know much about women and that none of them have been interested in him before. It is hinted that he likes Peggy Carter, a woman working with the special Army unit that Steve is assigned to. Not much really develops there, though it is hinted that she returns his feelings. There really isn't any romance in the movie. Steve is seen without his shirt before and after the procedure he goes through. He looks really good without his shirt on.
Steve serves as the main character in Captain America: The First Avenger. He starts out wanting to join the army and fight despite being small and weak and he will stand up to bullies even if it means getting beat up. He remains basically the same after the procedure gives him strength and the ability to fight. He is a very likable, interesting character. Chris Evans does really well with the part. He's much better in this movie than he was in the Fantastic Four movies.
Bucky is Steve's best friend who is shipping out when the movie begins. Bucky is surprised by the change in Steve, but he accepts it. Sebastian Stan is fine in the part, though he doesn't get that much to do. Dr. Abraham Erskine is working with the special unit of the army and he's the one who has developed the serum used in the super solider program. Stanley Tucci is great in the part even though he is only in a few scenes.
Peggy works for the unit that Steve is assigned to. She seems to be sort of an assistant to Colonel Chester Phillips, the man in charge of the unit. Peggy is a strong, capable woman and Hayley Atwell is good in the part. Colonel Phillips isn't too happy about Steve being assigned to his unit, but he eventually comes around. Phillips is a bit gruff most of the time. Tommy Lee Jones is wonderful in the part. Howard Stark, father of Tony/Iron Man, is around designing weapons for the unit. He seems a bit like Tony in that he's a brilliant inventor and he likes to have fun. Dominic Cooper does really well with the part. Neal McDonough is in some scenes as Dum Dum Dugan, a man who fights with Steve.
Johann Schmidt is in charge of designing new weapons for Hitler. Schmidt is also in charge of HYDRA and has plans for world domination like any good villain. He is willing to do anything to reach his goal. He makes a good villain and Hugo Weaving is good in the part. Toby Jones plays Dr. Armin Zola, a scientist working with Schmidt to develop new weapons.
Stan Lee makes another one of his cameo appearances.
Hayley Atwell - Peggy Carter
Dominic Cooper - Howard Stark
Chris Evans - Steve Rogers/Captain America
Toby Jones - Dr. Abraham Erskine
Tommy Lee Jones - Colonel Chester Phillips
Neil McDonough - Dum Dum Dugan
Sebastian Stan - Bucky
Stanley Tucci - Dr. Abraham Erskine
Hugo Weaving - Johann Schmidt
Joe Johnston - Director
Captain America: The First Avenger is a very well done, entertaining movie from Marvel that is well worth seeing. It ties in with the other Marvel movies from the last few years and lays more of the foundation for The Avengers. Fans of the character or the comic books should give the movie a chance.
This review is part of elvisdo's 2011 Funny Pages Write Off.
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